Investigators say around 2:30 a.m., a vehicle was stopped at a light in the southbound lane of Six Forks at Saw Mill Rd. That's when another vehicle struck it from behind.
All three people in the stopped car were taken to WakeMed.
John Sullivan, 24, of Charlotte died at the hospital. The two others have non life-threatening injuries.
The driver charged in the accident, Manuela Mantanona Gomez, was also hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.
Investigators said it appears that alcohol was a factor.